Picop-dependence of Bislig

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The country’s largest paper mill, Paper Industries Corporation of the Philippines, is sadly now teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and collapse. Last week reports said the power of Picop’s plant in Bislig went off and its operations had stopped, laying off thousands of laborers and giving bleak future to their dependent families and to Bislig itself. The workers are now protesting for payments of their wages and the alleged mismanagement in the company.

At this writing, reports said that no negotiation has yet occurred to address the issues raised by the Picop workers while the Land Bank of the Philippines is girding for a takeover in the operations of the firm which is heavily indebted to it. Furthermore, opportunistic elements from the management are reportedly fleecing the plant of the its heavy equipment, materials and other saleables in the like manner when the National Steel Corporation in Iligan City was fleeced when it went bankrupt years ago.

Bislig since it was created out from the paper mill’s operations has never have it so good these days. Everytime its town economy revved up and went brisk it was always due to vigor of the operations of the firm. Now it is facing a herculean challenge on how thousands of resident-dependents could survive the crisis in the wake of massive layoffs and unemployment brought about by alleged mismanagement of Bernardino group and other contributory factors attendant to its present closure. That the firm could not even pay for the electric bills it incurred for its latest operations before the closure tells serious implications to its ability to pay unpaid wages and benefits due to now striking Picop workers.

The impending Picop collapse is a case in point challenging other towns dependent only to one or two propulsive industries. At its best, local economy or a town dances to the tune of the vivacity of the industry it is dependent on. At its worst, the dependent town coughs up loud and strong whenever the industry merely sneezes, or it hibernates whenever the industry is falling asleep. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News) http://ruralurbanews.blogspot.com

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4 Responses to “Picop-dependence of Bislig”

  1. Don Lawrence Says:

    Hard to believe seeing PICOP in it’s present position as when I started the company up in 1971 production was very good and the work force very dedicated .
    Don .

  2. seems like the whole Town of Mangagoy will suffer.
    When I was there in Oct 2007 … the plant looked as if it was on the slide then.

    By letting the Filipinos run it … they have simply bleed it dry.When the USA operations stopped …. the writing was on the wall.

  3. balingway Says:

    Mangagoy is a really nice place to live with, everything is there,close to coal and gold mines,fishing, agricultural,forestry land and that paper company.Sad to say it didnt go well most of my relatives was working there and was lay-off in the the 90’s.My grandfather worked in that company also in the 70’s.He,s from Luzon and decided to live in Mangagoy.
    I visited that place last 2008 during the town fiesta and the place was so lonely unlike those past years.
    I’ts really sad to know about it.

  4. Picop for several decades has been the bread & butter for thousands of surigao sur folks. What is sad for d moment is d active lambasting of NGOs including the church of the company’s alleged massive environmental degradation done but it should be noted however, that if you travel around the Island of Mindanao if not d whole Philippines, you will only see in Picops concession the still intact vegetation composed of 2nd growth forest. That I think is a testament of the company’s positve contribution. Take for example d mountain ranges surrounding Butuan City, so bald, no reforestation, massive red tape, and yet its lumber-oriented companies continue to linger.
    How sad is d flight of Mangagoy, instead of bombarding Picop with malaise and garbage, why not help it stand. Economy isnt d only victim, history as well as local affiliation and fraternity has been lost because of massive outflux of people in Mangagoy. Your classmates and friends you will no longer see as they transfer residences and work elsewhere because of this scenario.

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